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Bills following bereavement.

(8 Posts)
Wingedharpy Fri 12-Apr-13 14:24:36

Hoping to get some pointers from others knowledge or experience.
My very elderly MIL has just died and she owned her own home many miles from us.
She had direct debits set up to pay for her gas, electric bills and council tax, house insurance, water rates etc etc.
Her bank accounts are now frozen so these outgoing payments will have stopped.
We will eventually put her house up for sale but in the meantime, how do we settle these on-going bills?
Can I set up a direct debit in my name to settle these bills or would her solicitors (as the executors of her estate) pay them?

CogitoErgoSometimes Fri 12-Apr-13 14:59:04

Sorry for your loss. Have you advised the various companies of her death? I'm pretty sure they have procedures they follow subsequent to a bereavement.

Wingedharpy Fri 12-Apr-13 17:28:05

Thanks for your reply Cognito.
Haven't advised anyone yet as this only happened in the wee small hours this morning.
It's a tricky situation (isn't it always?!) as I am an in-law rather than her daughter.
She has several children but they are all miles away from her and each other and I was just putting some feelers out so that I could help to point them in the right direction with correct info when this issue is raised.
I don't want to jump in and phone all and sundry without consulting with family as I know people can be ultra-sensitive at times like this but at the same time, I don't want SIL to think that she has to cope with everything.
This must be v. common and I was sure someone on Mumsnet would have the answer.

Oodsigma Fri 12-Apr-13 18:16:32

Let the companies know & they'll tell you what to do. If there's no one in the house gas/electric will be minimal. Other companies won't charge for an empty house. I think with my Grandads my mum paid them but was the only person inheriting so straight forward that way.

Wingedharpy Fri 12-Apr-13 18:26:16

Thank-you for your replies.
Having spent an age on the internet I think I've got an answer to my own question.
We need to tell the executors of her estate(Solicitors) and they advise the energy company and get the account name changed from MIL's to "Executors of Wingedharpy's MIL" and settle the accounts from her estate.

specialsubject Fri 12-Apr-13 19:58:09

With sympathy.

one to deal with as anyone feels up to it is the insurance - unoccupied properties need special cover. A normal policy will allow for standard absences but I wouldn't leave it more than a couple of weeks before doing something.

some councils also don't charge tax for empty properties, but this is rapidly vanishing.


marriednotdead Fri 12-Apr-13 20:32:08

Sorry for your loss.

It is the duty of the executor(s) to deal with all of this so if it is a solicitor, the best thing to do would be to hand all the details over to them. They will arrange payment of any bills as part of their duties before administering the remainder of the estate.

Crutchlow35 Sun 14-Apr-13 09:28:09

The executors should do all of that but there is no harm in calling the, yourself to advise. They may have procedures you need to follow although with the Warmer weather coming may be not

The poster who mentioned insurance is spot on. That is one that can't wait and must be addressed immediately.

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